As the West faced its economic downturn over recent years, the luxury segment of the fashion market increasingly turned its attention to the emerging Eastern markets, particularly China. And while there’s no doubt about the fact that Chinese shoppers and their ilk are big consumers of luxury goods, it turns out that they may be worth more to the fashion industry when they’re away from their native soil.
As the FT highlights:
Angela Ahrendts, Burberry’s chief executive, has coined the term “Travelling Luxury Consumer” or TLC to describe its key customer group, arguing this is a more powerful force than the Chinese market alone, which now accounts for over 10 per cent of Burberry’s sales.
“When Chinese consumers travel, they spend six times more than when they stay at home,” she explains.
High spending foreign tourists have powered a 32 per cent boost in post-tax annual profits at upmarket London department store Harvey Nichols, which rose to £7.25m in the year to April. Harrods, its larger Knightsbridge neighbour, broke through the £1bn sales barrier in 2011, posting a 39 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £108m and reporting that the Chinese were its top-spending international visitors, blowing an average of £3,500 a visit.